You can add color to your walls with paint. You can add texture with wallpaper. But for those of you looking for something a little more interesting, Tre Concrete Tiles can turn your walls into geometric sculptures. The triangular tiles are designed with angular contours that play with depth, light and shadow, giving your surface a three-dimensional element. Use them independently or a combination of the four different patterns to create your own modular masterpiece. The tiles come in 24 different color options, two levels of thickness, and a variety of finishes, insuring there's a configuration to fit every aesthetic.
With a simple design that only gets better over time, the Stahl Firepit makes a great addition to your carefully manicured yard or patio. It's crafted from hand-selected quarter-inch A36 hot rolled steel that's purposely left raw, allowing it to naturally lighten as you use it and develop a unique autumn-hued patina. It measures 32" by 30" and stands about a foot tall, and has an ingenious slotted five-piece build that lets you easily take it apart and reassemble as needed.
Gardening can be maddeningly difficult. It doesn't have to be. Planted in the soil, the Edyn Garden Sensor continuously monitors light, humidity, temperature, soil nutrition, and moisture, checking this data against plant databases, soil science, and weather trends to give you personalized guidance via the companion app. It also controls the Edyn Water Valve, which automatically gives your plants the right amount of water, ensuring you never over- or under-saturate the ground. In addition, the sensor can tell you what plants will grow best in your soil, giving you a head start towards a green thumb.
Some of the most well known architecture in the world now fits in the comfort of your own home thanks to Chisel & Mouse Architectural Models. Created by a team of brothers that are architecture enthusiasts, each model is made of plaster and feature fine details like window frames that are etched in metal. They combine traditional sculpting, molding, and casting with 3D printing to produce the models. Choose from a model of the iconic Capitol Records Tower, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, or detailed cityscape models of cities like Chicago, Berlin, or London.
Built using only local lumber and rope, the Arrowhead Porch Swing is a striking take on this American classic. Based on a design from his great-grandfather, Raleigh craftsman Justin Johnson and his partner Matthew Cronheim build each one to order, sneaking in details like slots for reading materials and cupholders that often go unnoticed thanks to the intricate details that hold each piece together without screws, nails, or other hardware. Available in one and two-up widths.
With simple designs that allow the plant within to shine, Norden Planters are a great addition to your decor whether you place them indoors or out. They come in three sizes — 10-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch — with the smallest suitable for stand use and the biggest made for large plants or trees. Each is made from high-fire terracotta in Baja, California, has a drainage hole to release excess moisture, and comes in your choice of white, black, or natural terracotta finishes.
True gearheads know there's a distinct smell that comes with the exhaust from a two-stroke motorcycle engine. The Two Stroke Smoke Candle from Flying Tiger Motorcycles aims to recreate that same smell at home, without the need to ride your bike through the front door. It's made from real two-stroke oil and soy wax, has a wooden wick, and comes packaged in a metal can with vintage-style label that will fit right into any motor-themed space.
Its sibling can already control your lock. So it only makes sense to let the August Doorbell Cam see who's at the door. Like the aforementioned lock, the cam was designed by Yves Behar, and integrates a one-way, 140-degree HD video camera, speaker, mic, and motion sensors into a single stylish plate. The system lets you see who's been at your door, even if they don't ring the bell, communicate via audio, and even buzz visitors, all from your phone, even if you're not at home. As an added bonus, the unit also acts as a Wi-Fi relay for the Smart Lock, letting you lock and unlock your door from anywhere.
Simple to set up and environmentally friendly, the Garden Igloo is an interesting alternative to the backyard hideout. The frame of this geodesic dome is made with PVC struts and high-strength nylon joints, and covered by a transparent PVC cover. It's over seven feet tall at its highest point and nearly 12 feet in diameter, so there's plenty of room inside, and should you decide you'd rather have shade than shelter, the optional canopy cover offers added privacy from the rear and an open entrance that's ideal for warmer weather.
You track your power usage. The Fluid Smart Water Meter lets you do the same with your plumbing. This simple device attaches easily to your home's main incoming water line and connects wirelessly to a companion app to let you monitor your water usage. It can recognize specific appliances or fixtures by having you run them while telling the monitor what you're using, and can give you warnings if there's a leak, if a hose or faucet gets left on, or even if you're toilet is running — providing big savings with little work on your part.
Odds are your home has a water faucet or two on the outside. Odds are they're the same threaded spigots they've been using for decades, requiring you to twist your hoses on and off each time, leaking water everywhere in the process. The Aquor House Hydrant is designed to make such inconveniences a thing of the past. Its patented system connects to your water lines the same as a traditional faucet, yet uses a new twist-lock connection with a leak-free seal to automatically start the water flowing when you connect your hose, and disconnects just as easily. And since the flush mount stops the flow of water deep inside your home, it's frost-free down to -30º F, all while leaving the exterior looking better than before.
Keeping your own chickens in your backyard can be both sustainable and healthier than relying on farm-produced ovals from the store. Unfortunately, most coops look like they belong on a farm, not in a backyard. The Breed Retreat Chicken Coop is a rare exception. This multi-level coop is built from wood, finished in black with an extra coating for durability, and sports an architectural design that won't look out of place next to your clean-lined home.
Buying beautiful plants is easy. Keeping them that way is not. Unless you have a Tableau Automatic Plant Watering Tray. This Dutch-designed system uses a wet-dry cycle to irrigate your plants in the same manner as nature. Just fill the reservoir, place it on the base, and relax for the next month as your plants decide how much to drink, in effect watering themselves. Of course, none of this does any good if it looks like a lab experiment, which is why they've made it as easy on the eyes as it is to maintain.
Inspired by classic ships lamps, the Stelton Ship's Lamp is a great way to add a nautical influence to your surroundings without ruining your minimalist decor. The lamp was designed by Erik Magnussen in 1982, and is crafted from satin polished 18/8 stainless steel, with a cylindrical design that helps keep the wind out and the flame going strong. The unique design allows it to be placed on a table, on the ground, or hung from the top, and since it runs on kerosene or oil, you won't even need a lamp trimmer to keep it going.
You don't need to live in the city to appreciate the Glowpear Urban Garden. Designed for growing a wide range of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and even flowers, this minimalist planter works both indoors and out, with a modular design for connecting multiple units and an integrated self-watering system that takes some of the worry out of growing. And thanks to the sturdy construction — including an injection molded HDPE planter and glass-filled HDPE legs — you can be sure that it will last for many harvests to come.
In case you haven't been reading the news, the West Coast is facing a serious water shortage. To the point where there's not even any left in the ground. Do your part to conserve with the Rachio Iro Smart Sprinkler Controller. Like a Nest Thermostat for your irrigation system, this intelligent gadget hooks to your sprinkler system and keeps track of the weather and seasons over Wi-Fi, using as little water as possible to keep your yard looking great while lowering your water bills at the same time.
Ever worry whether you remembered to close your garage door when pulling out of the driveway? With the Chamberlain MyQ Garage, you'll never have to worry again. Compatible with most major brands of garage door openers made after 1993, this smart box connects to the Internet over WiFi, and uses a sensor to tell if your door is open or shut. Which means you get the capability to open or close the door from wherever you are, receive alerts anytime the door opens, and even get a reminder if you forget to close the door when you leave. No more turning around to double check for you, Mr. Paranoid.
It's a near certainty when it comes to a plant — eventually, it's going to outgrow its pot. Unless you planted it in a FoldPot. This silicone rubber plant pot is designed to expand as the plant's roots grow by folding upward, giving you the ability to add nearly twice as much soil as needed throughout the plant's life. And while a pot plate is included, the drainage hole is designed such that you can keep it closed if your particular plant doesn't have need for it. Available in sets of three or six.
Cool summer nights don't have to mean the end of a great outdoor get-together — all you need is this Chimney Box to keep the party going well into the night. Made from heavy gauge hot rolled American steel and weathered to a gorgeous patina, this chimney box has a functional design that throws heat forward, while pushing smoke upward. A handle designed to remain cool around the rear and wheels at the base allow you to reorient its position even while its burning. And, thanks to its beautiful design, the chimney box looks great in almost any setting, whether it's next to your hot tub, on your patio, or at the edge of a dock.
Light up your favorite outdoor gathering place — whether it's your patio, your back porch, or your entire yard — and do it in style with the Menu Fire Bucket. Made from stainless steel so it won't tarnish or rust, this fire bucket will last for years no matter the weather you expose it to. With multiple fire buckets, you can light up an entire space, just insert the removable oil container, and arrange them throughout to create the right mood. And when you're not using them for lighting, they also make great flower pots or storage containers, and with a convenient handle, you can hang them pretty much anywhere.
Most of the time you think of beekeepers as living out on large farms, tending to their hives with crazy hazmat-style suits on. With the Philips Urban Beehive, you can become your own beekeeper — with the bees living inside your own house. This stylish concept consists of two parts: an entry passage and flower pot that sits outdoors, and a glass shell inside. The tinted glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength the bees use for sight, and holds an array of honeycomb frames inside. When it's time to harvest some honey, just pull on the smoke actuator chain and grab some out while the bees are happily sedated.
Sprinkler systems are great when you live in a hot and/or dry climate where your lawn doesn't get much in the way of rain — but most systems still run even if you do get the occasional shower. The Skydrop Sprinkler Controller won't. Thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi connection, it syncs up with a cloud service and adjusts its watering schedule based on current local weather conditions. As you might imagine, it also makes it possible to manage your system from your phone, tablet, or laptop, keeping you informed while saving you money and conserving water.
With Lockitron finally hitting doorsteps in July and the Kevo heralding the big-name lockmakers' entrance into the market, it seems 2013 will be quite the year for smart locks — and the August Smart Lock ($200) is the sleekest one we've seen yet. Designed by Yves Behar, the August is a simple anodized aluminum circle that installs over the interior portion of your existing deadbolt, and uses LED indicators and open/close chimes to let you know its status. As for its smart credentials, it uses a combination of Bluetooth, an app, and encrypted locking technology to let you open the door automatically and ensure that anyone who needs access can get it while those who don't, can't.
We've seen add-ons for locks to try and make them smarter, but it's about time the locks themselves gained some intelligence. Kevo ($220) is the first we've seen. This smart deadbolt uses Bluetooth 4.0, your iPhone, and a companion app to let you open your door using nothing but your finger. A ring around the lock lights up blue when it senses your presense, and turns to green once you've unlocked your door. The set also includes a wireless keyfob that offers the same functionality, and should you need to resort to old-school ways, it'll still open with a standard key, as well. Coming this summer.
Alarm systems are great and all, but if you really want to scare any prospective robber away as possible, install a Burglar Blaster ($600). This self-contained, battery-powered unit is simple to install, and uses a passive infrared detection system to sense when an intruder is near. After the set entry time delay, it blasts four ounces of irritating OC pepper spray into the surrounding area, virtually guaranteeing a quick retreat for anyone in its path. Good for up to 2,000 square feet, it's likely more than enough to protect your home — but if you feel the need for extra firepower, step up to the Decintegrator, which fires out six times as much of the nasty stuff.
Spring is on its way, so what better time to start livening up your living space with some actual living things? The Woolly Pocket ($27) is a stylish wall planter that makes it quick and easy to add real plants to any semi-sunny spot in your home. Made from BPA-free recycled plastic, the planter features a self-watering 1.5L reservoir with easy access watering holes that attaches directly to the wall. Once it's in place, you can plant your plant your planter in the patented vented shell and hang it on the reservoir — making it nearly impossible to kill your plant as long as you remember to water regularly.
Not looking forward to grass mowing season? Do away with the chore altogether and install some Turf Pro Grass ($7/sq. ft.). Available in a variety of colors and textures, it's safe for humans and pets, is easy to clean and maintain, and has a life expectancy of 20 years. But best of all, it keeps you from needing to weed, mow, fertilize, water, or otherwise tend to that filthy stuff that grows from the dirt.
You can pay for your coffee, turn off your lights, control your TV, and start your car with your smartphone — so why can't you unlock your doors? That's exactly what Lockitron ($150) does. This sleek box slips over the inside of most deadbolt locks, and sports built-in Wi-Fi to let you check on the status of and lock/unlock your door from afar. You can also add family and friends as guests to share access, but we're most excited about the Bluetooth 4 integration, which means it can sense your iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 and unlock the door automatically without you ever having to do a thing. [Thanks, John]
Forget the Febreze — if you're looking to add an air of manliness to your surroundings, bust out a can of Archer Air Superiority ($14). It comes in three sufficiently masculine scents — distillery, which offers notes of charred oak, bourbon, and sour mash, hunting lodge, with scents of stone, gun powder, and timber, and european sports car, which smells of leather, aftershave, and horsepower. Expelled from its stylishly simple can using an eco-friendly nitrogen-based propellant, its the perfect antidote for your average fresh/floral room spray.